November 21, 2019

Jeffco Open Space Survey: Results

Lair o' the Bear (Flickr: bradleygee).

Last fall, Jeffco Open Space conducted a countywide “citizen survey” to assess current attitudes and to gather feedback about the open space system. The results are available online on the Jeffco Open Space website.

A few of the findings I thought were interesting:

  • Roughly four out of every five use Jeffco Open Space facilities.
  • Crown Hill, Lair o’ the Bear, and Deer Creek Canyon were the most frequently visited of all the parks. Most of the parks in the Golden area (e.g., Galbraith, South Table) were among the less frequently visited.
  • Lair o’ the Bear was, by far, the most visited park when bringing children along.
  • Among the activities people do in the parks, hiking/walking dominated at 87% (which isn’t surprising) but wildlife viewing was fourth with 40% (which I am a bit surprised by). Mountain biking, running, and biking (I assume road) were all comparable (29%, 24%, and 21% respectively).
  • There is a high level of support for designating specific trails for single uses and multiple uses. I interpreted this to mean that many people supported the idea of some trails being designated for single uses and others for multi-use.
  • There was a much lower level of support for alternating uses on the same trails.
  • There wasn’t much support for designating entire parks for a single type of trail use.
  • The formal survey found that 9% of respondents felt that current operating hours of open space parks are inadequate, while 41% of the online respondents felt that way. I know for runners (and maybe for others) this is a big issue, especially in the winter. For many folks who have a regular workweek, you can’t run on trails during the week in the winter except before dawn or after dark.

I’d love to know if you see anything in the results you are especially surprised or intrigued by.